OLAYINKA OLUKOYA was at the 5th convocation ceremony of the Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State. She recounts her interaction with the best graduating student.
HE was extremely happy to be the best overall graduating student of the first Islamic University in Nigeria, Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State. He beamed with smiles as he faced the audience that came to witness the fifth convocation ceremony of the institution, last Saturday.
For Fatai Abolade Oyekan, the feat of being the winner out of 141 graduands was made possible by dint of hardwork and determination to be the best.
He told Education Tribune in an interview that he feels privileged, honoured and proud to be the best graduating student of the 2012/2013 graduating set.
A graduate of Economics and Actuarial Science, he said one of the things that worked for him was the encouragement he got from his parents, especially one of his secondary school teachers who he identified as Mr Mutiu Kelani.
He said, “My journey through this university began in September, 2010, when I received an admission letter to study Economics with Operation Research at 200 level. The feeling of felicity and profound joy that I felt was not only because I was offered admission into a university, but because I was admitted into this prestigious university.
“While not denying the place of hard work in this great achievement and privilege I enjoy today, I must also admit that my background and experiences in life contributed immensely. I come from a home where I have always been encouraged to work hard and achieve academic excellence, but sincerely, what motivated me most was the huge amount of money that was being paid as school fees yearly. I cannot afford to watch them go down the drain.
“When I was in secondary school, I used to be a good student but I was too playful, and one of my teachers used to tell me that “you can be the best, if you can be more serious,” I did not use to mind him and I continued to do things my own way.
“When I commenced my study in this great university, I thought about what my teacher used to tell me and also being motivated with the school fees being paid annually. I felt in myself that I could make it happen. Though it was not easy, but it is not mission impossible and if it was going to be mission impossible I was ready to be the Tom Cruise.”
According to him, the laid down rules and regulations of the citadel of learning does not allow any form of distractions, hence he needed to face his study squarely.
He recalled that he made the decision to fly higher above other students on his first day on campus and also engaged in socials, but does not keep unproductive friends.
The third born of a family of five, he had his primary education at Ebedi Nursery and Primary School, Iseyin, Oyo State before proceeding to Kelani College for his secondary education.
Oyenekan told Education Tribune that he had initially had a Diploma in Economics with good grades from the same university which earned him admission into the 200 level.
While he looks forward to his call-up-letter for the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, the 24-year-old graduate said he returned to the classroom for his Masters programme in Economics and will like to work in a multinational company.
He said, “I have made up my mind to go for a second degree immediately after my service year, and am looking forward to work in any of the multinational companies.”
Oyenekan said that the Holy Prophet Muhammed is his role model, saying as a God fearing person, he owes Allah all that he has become.
Talking about how he feels being the best graduating student, Oyenekan said he was very proud because a particular course, ‘Finance’ would have cost him the honour.
He said that he got 45 per cent in the course, but had to work harder in other courses to cover up for it.
Oyenekan who said he graduated with a Cumulative Grade Point Average of about 4.8 encouraged the nation’s youths on the need to embrace hard work and commitment to academic excellence.
He attributed planning and strict compliance as a major factor responsible for the award.
“I always plan my programmes. I don’t play when am supposed to be reading and I don’t read when am supposed to relax. This system worked for me,” he said.
Oyenekan in his valedictory speech gave these words of encouragement that “failure can truly be made the mother of success, failure is not the final and success is never ending.”
At the graduation ceremony, the properitor/President, Board of Trustees, Judge Bola Ajibola, Ajibola, a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, said the university would not relent in acknowledging and rewarding excellence, hard work and scholarship.
He disclosed that 90 per cent of the mounted courses of the institution had been fully accredited by the National Universities Commission
(NUC), adding that the varsity authorities were working assiduously to raise the remaining courses to full accreditation status.
The former minister observed that the “stringent and tedious peer review accreditation processes” of NUC had done the nation’s university system a lot of good.
While congratulating the graduating students, Ajibola charged them to be good ambassadors of the university and contribute their quota to nation-building.
In his speech, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Kehinde Okeleye, stated that eight students bagged First Class while 55 others graduated with Second Class Upper Division.
He added that 54 students were awarded Second Class Lower Division while 24 students were in the Third Class Division.
A total of 141 graduated from three colleges with eight students graduating with first-class honours, fifty-five finished with second class upper, fifty four with second-class lower and twenty-three with third-class from College of Information and Communication Technology (CICOT), College of Natural and Applied Sciences (CONAS) and College of Social and Management Sciences (COSMAS) of the university.
The Vice Chancellor, said “the need for discipline in the achievement of collective aspirations of the university is being brought early to our students in relation to the critical issues of abstinence from antisocial vices and indecent dressing among other.”
In his acceptance speech on behalf of other honourees, Chief Oba Otudeko lauded the proprietor, Judge Bola Ajibola describing him as being blessed because Crescent University was a dream fulfilled.
He said “we commit ourselves to joining you as partners to take the university to a greater height.”
He praised the graduands for working hard on the sacrifice of their parents and guardians, noting that he was pleased as a proud father to share the great moment with their parents, guardians and mentors “who have provided support that allowed you to reach this milestone.”
Okeleye said the university was proud to release the graduating students to the world as its ambassadors flying its flag.
Source: Nigerian Tribune